Mother emotionally addresses Middletown man as he is sentenced for dumping her daughter’s body

A Middletown man received a prison sentence on Thursday for dumping a woman’s body in the woods following her overdose.

Joshua Swenson and Erica Robinson, both of 2912 Wilbraham Rd., were indicted in September for tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse, both felonies.

Swenson, 28, pleaded guilty last month to the tampering charge, a third-degree felony. The second charge, a lower felony, was dismissed.

MORE: Trial dates set for 2 charged with dumping Middletown woman’s body

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster sentenced Swenson to 18 months in prison. He faced a maximum of 36 months.

At the time of the plea, defense attorney Mark Conese requested Swenson be assessed for a lock down community-based drug treatment program, noting Swenson knows he has a drug problem. On Thursday, Conese told the judge that Swenson has a minimal criminal record and wants to get treatment for his drug addiction.

Both Robinson and Swenson told Middletown police that Leslie Dalton, 20, of Middletown overdosed in their house, and they waited until night before putting her body in a wheelbarrow, covering it with a sheet and then pushing her body across the street to a wooded area.

MORE: Mom of Middletown woman found dead in woods speaks out

Dalton’s mother, Rebecca Charlton, addressed the judge and Swenson before sentencing.

“I have often fantasized on all the different ways I would kill you if ever given the chance,” Charlton said, but she added wants him to “let God into his heart.”

“You did a terrible thing,” she said, noting only God can forgive him.

Oster told Dalton’s family that filled the front row, “the court cannot bring people back, it cannot take away hurt.”

The judge said the crime Swenson committed is “disturbing,” but his past criminal record is minimal. Oster urged Swenson to get treatment for his drug addition while in prison.

Charlton declined comment after the hearing.

“I’m not sure how I feel,” she said.

Robinson is scheduled to be back in court Feb. 26 for a pre-trial hearing.

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